Worship Philosophy: Relationship Evangelism

Evangelism through Relationships with Unbelievers

An effective creative arts/worship ministry goes beyond the Sunday morning band to engage all kinds of people in creative expression.

Rick Warren, says in this podcast, “Saddleback doesn’t have any kind of official evangelism program. We simply ask people, ‘What do you love to most? Go do that with unbelievers.’ ” One example he uses is “If you like to shoot guns get 5 guys who are lost who don’t know the Lord and take them down to the shooting range and shoot guns.” I would add,”If you love to play music go do it with unbelievers in your community.”

A great worship pastor is not only leading worship in church on Sunday morning he is also supporting the local music scene in the club on Friday night. He doesn’t only facilitate music for worship on Sunday morning, but is also encouraging Christian musicians and artists to be using their gifts and talents to add to the culture of their city. A great worship pastor has rapport not only with the other worship pastors in town but also with non-Christian artists, actors and musicians who perform in the community. Because he is a leader who multiplies himself he actively encourages everyone on the worship and tech team to have not only fellowship with other Christians, but also to be involved in the lives of unbelievers as well.

People come to Christ when we love them as Jesus does: without an agenda. We can’t get to know people simply “so that they’ll come to church,” but we have to truly love them for who they are. They will come to Jesus by getting to know us. Jesus is a pretty compelling guy.

The added bonus of doing evangelism this way is that when people make a decision for Christ they have a clear picture of what living life as a Christian looks like. Too often people make a “commitment” to Christ after simply hearing a sermon or a 5 minute tract-accompanied presentation without truly counting the cost.

Evangelism through Relationships with Unbelievers is part 4 of a 5 part Philosophy of Worship Ministry series entitled 5 Purposes That are Vital to a Thriving Worship Ministry.


17 Responses to “Worship Philosophy: Relationship Evangelism”

  1. 1 Russ November 28, 2007 at 11:25 am

    Great post, Billy.

    Man, so far out of all of these, this one hits home with me the most. In fact, it’s probably the most appealing, energizing, and fun aspect of being a creative type. At the same time, though, it’s probably the least pursued and hardest to incorporate into our lives.


    We sometimes have a skewed perspective on what it means to minister with our gifts. Sure, the “body” needs our creativity and servant leadership, but how sad is it when musicians that are Christ followers become so insider focused (with great intentions) that they lose sight of the community that is outside of the faith community we serve in…

    Anyways, thank so much for posting this. Definitely an encouragement and a challenge to up the ante a bit in my own personal walk.

    God’s Best,

  2. 2 Mark Warnock November 28, 2007 at 11:47 am

    Good word. I’m a horrible model of this, because like many worship pastors, I’m tied up in doing church stuff ALL THE TIME. I can barely go to a concert, much less play elsewhere.

    But I do totally agree with you. It should happen.

  3. 3 Peter Park November 28, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    I remember playing at a bar a few times. People seemed to be pretty open to my music. It was part of a songwriter’s group, so it was cool.

  4. 4 Pete November 28, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    “They will come to Jesus by getting to know us. Jesus is a pretty compelling guy.”

    As a Budhist would say: Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu! Loosely translated: Ain’t that the truth!

    Good post Billy.

  5. 5 Billy Chia November 28, 2007 at 4:32 pm

    Russ and Mark,
    I have lived in the Christian Ghetto and it is not fun. Going to shows is one way to manifest a connection outside the church walls. The idea is to give back to the community. I’m still learning on this one as well.

    I’ve found when I’ve share my music with non-Christians it’s not always immediately dismissed. That’s cool that you were able to connect with other songwriters.

    Amen. Amen.

  6. 6 Megan November 28, 2007 at 11:50 pm

    This is such a great way to look at evangelism. Once, while I was in seminary, someone gave me some crap for having a lot of unbelieving friends that I wasn’t actively attempting to bring to Jesus. I tried to explain that while I might not be sitting around talking about faith 24-7 with them, just being meaningfully connected to them allows people have a picture of a person of faith. Living in the Christian Ghetto is stultifying.

    I wish I could sing, but what I’m good at is talking my head off. So I use that gift instead! I hope in the future I can, as you said, “add to the culture” where I live.

  7. 7 greg allen December 1, 2007 at 4:34 pm


    Outstanding post.



  8. 8 Chris December 1, 2007 at 10:30 pm

    Great post, Billy. Definitely a significant mindset shift when we see evangelism in this light.

    The only thing I’d say would be about your expectation for worship pastors to be involved with artists and entertainers in their town. The only caution I would give would be about pigeon-holing worship pastors as “Oh he’s the guy that hangs out with artists.” Sometimes the healthiest thing for someone who is expected to be “artsy” and creative 24/7 is to find a hobby that is the opposite of that and let your relational evangelism energy be released in that area.

    For example, I really like wine. I’m half French so that’s probably the reason 🙂 But I’d love to find a group of people who are stoked about learning and exploring wines in the context of appreciating it as a labour of love.

    Does that make sense? I don’t want to minimize the value of being involved in the local arts scene but it can also be very beneficial to do something un-artsy just for the heck of it.

  9. 9 Billy Chia December 2, 2007 at 4:42 pm

    Right on man. I gave some loose examples to illustrate the point that sharing Jesus happens best in community. I think your wine club idea (depending on your denomination) is also great.

    You raise a good point about having an element to our lives that is outside creative arts. It is easy to get burned out.

  10. 10 brunettekoala December 4, 2007 at 9:52 am

    “People come to Christ when we love them as Jesus does: without an agenda”


    I’m walking testament of that home truth.

  11. 11 kittlesnbits December 4, 2007 at 4:21 pm

    Great post Billy..
    I definitely subscribe to going out and being where unbelievers are…

    But here’s a tricky question that has hit home recently:

    What would you say about an ‘unbeliever’ playing an instrument in the praise team at church on Sundays? My personal reaction is ‘let ’em play’ and have an influence on them. But there are those who would disagree with that position, and I certainly understand why. Do you have any thoughts on this?

  12. 12 alex mclean December 5, 2007 at 5:59 am

    Mmmm Mmmm good Billy! Music, evangelism, Jesus, and wine all in the same post – that’s awesome.

    I completely agree 100%. I also love what Chris said. You guys brought up two great issues and I think that people are starting to understand how relational evangelism works. Let’s just hope we don’t ever get legalistic on how evangelism works – it takes different forms for different times & cultures.

  13. 13 Billy Chia December 5, 2007 at 11:41 pm

    I do have some thoughts 🙂


    Good call on the legalism. Context is key.

  14. 14 Jscob Nieto April 17, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    No this is not correct!!!


    I do not see any biblical evidence of this theory of Evangelism.
    and if it is not biblical then it is not true.

  15. 15 Billy Chia April 18, 2009 at 8:07 am

    I think we’re actually in agreement here – salvation by Grace alone!

    That’s my point – you can’t coerce people into following Jesus, so don’t try. Just love them the way Jesus commands (Mt. 22:39) and let the Father draw all men unto him (Jn. 6:44).

  16. 16 Jscob Nieto April 20, 2009 at 10:16 am

    I apologize for my quick to argue attitude..
    God humbled me. haha.

    :] Yes billy!

    Praise God.

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